By Tia Lynn Ivey
Anew program at Morgan County Middle School is challenging student to be more active. Over 300 students are participating in the Run/Walk Challenge, which doles out charms for bracelets and necklaces for each mile a student completes on tracks at school.
“It’s amazing,” said Coach Dusty Hawkins. “We never expected it to be this popular. It has taken off more than we ever anticipated.”
The students purchase a bracelet for 50 cents or a necklace for a dollar, and then use recess or other free-time to complete five laps around the track, which amounts to one-mile. Every time they do that, they receive a charm.
“Some of these kids are doing it everyday,” said Hawkins.
According to Hawkins, MCES wanted to find a fun way to get kids physically active.
“You know, we only have PE twice a week and so much on kids’ entertainment today is geared toward being indoors, not outdoors anymore like when I was a kid.”
The program is setup to not only encourage kids to be more active, but to teach them the lifelong value in running.
“It teaches them endurance,” said Hawkins. “Some of these kids are intimidated by team sports, it’s a lot of pressure. But anyone can run. I always tell them, ‘there is no wrong way to run, if you’re moving, you’re doing it right.’ That takes a lot of pressure off and these kids are discovering they can do it. They can do more than they thought they could before.”
The Walk/Run Challenge kicked off this September and will continue to be an all-year-round challenge.